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Here's to school normal ... sort of

 

September 3, 2021

It's that time of year again. The time when the sun comes up a little later in the morning, goes down a little earlier at night, and the evenings start to take on a little cooler tinge. It's also the time when our streets begin to bustle with buses and children moving to and from school in the mornings and afternoons. Cloquet is welcoming back most of our students on Sept. 8, while our kindergartners start their educational journey on Sept. 9, and we're excited to know they're on their way.

As we're all well aware, this past school year was the most unique year many of us have ever experienced. While it's something that most of us never care to experience again, it did teach us some things. I remember an old saying that the tough times bring out the true character of people. I believe this also applies to organizations and communities. This past year presented many obstacles and challenges that strained our schools and community and could have led to negative outcomes. Instead, I witnessed people supporting one another, communicating through the challenges, and moving first toward understanding, rather than criticism. It showed the true nature of our schools and community. A nature that I believe to be one of caring, support and understanding. This isn't to say everything is always perfect, but the outcomes are always better when we work together.

As we head into this school year, we are hopeful that the year will be a progressive return to normal. This past June, I was following the progress of vaccination efforts, the easing of emergency orders, and was thinking wishfully of a completely normal return to school. I think it's fair to say we all want Covid-19 to be a thing of the past and we'd like to live a life free of the precautions we've come to know this past year.

While many things in our schools will be back to what we knew pre-pandemic, there are a few precautions that will remain in place to begin the year. Pandemics, unfortunately, are a part of the natural order of things. As with nature, they unfold in their own time and care little about our own desires as people. The good news is that progress is being made and this will pass, even if it's not following a timeline that's convenient. Covid will fade into the background of normal life, even if we can't predict exactly when that will happen.

As a school district, we are here to serve our students, regardless of the circumstances. We hope to keep our students in our school buildings for the entire school year and keep them excited and engaged in their learning. As we continue to work together in service of our children, we look forward to the continued support of our community that comes through communication and understanding. We're excited to serve the children again and to do so in a way that meets their needs and the needs of our broader community. We can create a great school year together as we progress back to life as normal.

Dr. Michael Cary is the superintendent of the Cloquet School District. Contact him at [email protected] or 218-879-6721.

 
 

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